Police remind drivers to slow down in school zones as kids head back to school

Police remind drivers to slow down in school zones as kids head back to school (WRSP)

It's back to school for children and back to school zone speeds for all motorists. The Springfield Police Department has a very simple message.

"Slow down. Be aware of your surroundings and like I said, put the cell phone down," said Sergeant Kris Rhodes of the Springfield Police Department.

Flashing lights and brightly colored signs warning that speeds shouldn't exceed 20 MPH doesn't always register with drivers especially in the first week or so after summer break ends.

"The first couple weeks of school is problematic because people need to be reminded that school is back in session," said Sgt. Rhodes. "The school zones are there for a purpose to make it so kids can get to and from school safely."

Another common offense is passing school buses that have their stop arm extended. In a school zone or along the bus route, this can be incredibly dangerous for children getting on or off.

"If you see a stop arm, stop," said Jim Lovelace, the Director of Transportation of Ball-Chatham. "It only takes a split second for a student to come out and to be a tragic accident."

SPD says, they'll have a heavy presence in school zones throughout the city looking for speeders and anyone who's driving distracted.

"People on their cell phones, we'll be out looking for that because that divides people's attention," said Sgt. Rhodes. "They're not paying attention to things they need to be when they're driving."

A first offense for getting caught in a school zone is $150 and it is $300 for a second violation.

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